Joe Allen, making headlines for the fantastic Wales Euro 2016 football team, started his career playing for Tenby!
One of our volunteers has been trawling the old Tenby Observer newspapers for mention of Joe and on several occasions his name crops up in reports of Tenby matches. For a Welsh supporter such as myself, this is a wonderful and pertinent piece of recent history. A report from the newspaper of 22 December 2000, when Tenby Under 11s beat Neyland 2 goals to nil, stated “Bill Vaughan and Joe Allen worked relentlessly in midfield and supplied good balls to the front runners.” To anyone who watched the fabulous Wales v Russia game recently, this report will seem hugely familiar!
In the Observer of 19 January 2007 there is a longer report headlined “Narberth footballer breaks into Swans squad”, which details Joe’s break into Swansea City FC’s first team squad and reads:
Sixteen-year old Joe Allen, who has attended the Swansea City School of Excellence since the age of nine, has been handed the number 32 shirt this season. So far Joe has gained six caps playing for Wales Under 17s, and a further three caps playing for the Under 19s.
And now, as Wales advance through the Euros, preparing to play Northern Ireland in the quarter finals on Saturday, I feel that the people of Tenby and Narberth must feel a strong degree of pride for this local talent taking control of the big stage.
I would love to know where Bill Vaughan is now or anyone who played with Joe as a young man. If you would like to get in touch, I would love to hear from you.